So, you’ve decided you need a general contractor. Congratulations! Hiring a general contractor is a big decision, but it’s also an exciting one. After all, with a good general contractor by your side, you’re one step closer to bringing your dream building or commercial space to life.
Now comes the hard part: choosing the right general contractor for the job. With so many contractors out there vying for your business, it can be tough to know where to start. To help you out, we’ve put together a list of five tips for choosing the right contractor.
Tip # 1. Get Recommendations from Trusted Sources
When it comes to finding a great contractor, word-of-mouth is still king. Talk to your friends, family members, and neighbors who have recently had work done on their buildings or businesses and see if they have any recommendations. Chances are, they’ll be more than happy to share their experiences—both good and bad—with you.
Tip # 2. Do Your Research Online
In today’s day and age, there’s no excuse for not doing your due diligence when it comes to hiring a contractor. A quick Google search will reveal tons of information about any given contractor, including reviews from past clients. Not sure where to start? Check out websites like Angie’s List and buildingAdvisor. These websites are great resources for learning more about local contractors in your area.
Tip # 3. Ask for Proof of Insurance
Before you even think about hiring a contractor, you’ll want to make sure they’re properly insured. Ask for proof of insurance upfront and don’t take no for an answer. A good contractor should have no problem providing you with evidence of their insurance policy. If they do hesitate or try to avoid the question entirely, that’s a major red flag and you should move on to someone else.
Tip # 4. Make Sure They’re Licensed
In addition to being insured, every good contractor should also be licensed in your state or municipality. This is important because it ensures they’ve met all the necessary requirements for practicing as a contractor in your area—requirements that exist for your protection as a consumer. Simply put: if they’re not licensed, they’re not legitimate and you shouldn’t hire them for the job.
Tip # 5. Get Everything in Writing
Last but not least, always make sure you get everything in writing before work begins on your project. This includes the scope of work, projected timeline, estimated costs, etc. This protects you in the event that something goes wrong during the course of the project or if the final bill ends up being higher than what was initially quoted.
Choosing the right general contractor is essential to ensuring your building improvement project goes off without a hitch—so it’s definitely not a decision you should take lightly. By following the tips outlined above, you can rest assured you’re making the best possible choice for your needs and budget.